Mounts set to battle Hempfield in semis

By on May 9, 2012

Ephrata's Tyler Sensenig (left) bodies a Warwick player during recent boys lacrosse action. Sensenig and the Mounts head into the post-season tonight when they battle Hempfield at Penn Manor High School. (Photo by Cathy Chapis)

After an outstanding regular season, the Ephrata boys lacrosse team enters post-season play tonight (Wednesday) looking to continue that success.

The Mounts (16-2), who finished behind only Manheim Township in the regular season standings, will look to get another crack at the Blue Streaks in Friday’s L-L League finals. First though, Ephrata must face a dangerous Hempfield squad in tonight’s semifinals at Penn Manor, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The two teams met back on April 1 at Mountaineer Field where Ephrata posted a convincing 13-4 victory over Hempfield. Wednesday’s meeting will also be a rematch of last year’s L-L semifinals where Ephrata pulled off a 6-5 upset over the Black Knights before falling to the Blue Streaks by a 17-2 in the finals.

Township (14-4), the top seed in the tournament, faces fourth-seeded Penn Manor in Wednesday’s nightcap at 7:30 p.m. The winners of Wednesday’s games will then move on to face each other for the L-L League title Friday night at 7:30 p.m. back at Penn Manor.

Wednesday’s meet with the Black Knights features some of the top scorers in the L-L League. The Mounts’ Tucker Keefer won the regular season scoring title with 52 goals and 34 assists for 86 points. His brother Dakota Keefer was third in the league with 65 points (26 G, 39 A) while Evan Hornberger added 43 points (39 & 4).

Hempfield is led by Nick Valentino, who tallied 44 points (28 G, 16 A) on the year. Matt Senft (28 & 14) and Zach Ward (27 & 15) also can find the net on a regular basis.

But Ephrata has the edge in goal as senior Brian Neff was the top netminder on the season, saving 133 shots out of a possible 193 (.689 save percentage).

This past week, the Mounts closed out the regular season with a pair of non-league victories, including one vs. one of the top teams in District Three.

Last Wednesday at Carlisle, the Mounts faced one of the top teams in the Mid-Penn League and came out victorious in a hard-fought 6-4 win over the Thundering Herd.

Tucker Keefer’s goal with 4:39 left to play proved to be the game winner in the Mounts’ 6-4 win.

Carlisle took an early 2-0 lead off goals from Cody McCoy and Max Breschi before Hornberger got the Mounts on the scoreboard to cut the deficit to 2-1 after one quarter.

Keefer then scored the lone goal of the second quarter to even it up at 2-2 heading to the half. The teams then traded goals in the third with Hunter Scott tallying for the Herd (12-3) and Hornberger for the Mounts to make it 3-3 heading to the fourth.

Ephrata then grabbed its first lead of the game on a Justin Hoover goal in the fourth minute of the final period, but Carlisle’s Jon Mundell tied the game 4-4 with an outside rip less than a minute later.

That set the stage for Keefer’s game-winning goal, which beat Carlisle goalie Jesse Ruth (7 saves). Ephrata’s Corey Shirk added an insurance tally with 17 seconds left to complete the scoring.

Neff’s save total was not available.

The Mounts followed up that win with a convincing 14-2 victory at home Thursday over Lower Dauphin.

Joey Sellers led the way for the Mounts, scoring four goals on the day. Tucker Keefer added a goal and five assists while Dakota Keefer chipped in with three goals and a pair of assists.

Also finding the net for Ephrata were: Hornberger (2), Josh Frey, Mason Quickel and Hoover. Neff made five saves for the Mounts, who outshot LD, 24-9 for the game. More BOYS LAX, page B-3

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